Google Enters Online Book Market, Throws Indie Booksellers an Inflatable Bone

This should be good news–at the very least, purveyors of a product that has no real substance and requires not much in the way of packaging (you supply the package with your computer or portable device, and the online shops provide a packaging of sorts in the way they offer you the product in your browser, but other than that, profit margins here are bound to be high) will have some competition.  Oh yeah, and then there are authors, editors, etc., but let’s be realistic here.  Right now, Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom will cost you the same, $12.99, whether you buy it in electronic format from Google’s new online bookstore or from  After scanning about 15 million books in the past few years, many of which exist outside of the bounds of copyright, Google is in a position to offer some books free.  I downloaded Robinson Crusoe, offered in formats for every type of electronic reading device, and it looks fine on my screen, is easily searchable, yet retains a a certain old-timeyness–possibly because the font and layout are photocopied straight out of an edition from 1866.   Google’s decision to allow independent booksellers to sell its eBooks through their stores seems nice enough, a gesture designed to help indie sellers through the transition, except for the question of why would you go to an independent bookstore to buy an eBook from Google?  To support your local indie bookseller, I suppose.  I wonder if physical books will soon come with a download code to allow you a free download in addition to the physical edition, like the MP3 downloads sometimes offered with the purchase of a vinyl album?  I, for one, occasionally leave whatever I’m reading at home, only to discover my mistake on my way to lunch.     -Ed Scripsi

Published in: on December 8, 2010 at 4:42 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Google is just too Greedy. Thanks for another great post, very informative.
    The more we Know the more we Grow.
    Sincerely, The Groupon Guy

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